World briefs 5/12/05

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Senate defies president on highway spending

WASHINGTON -- In a rare break with the president, Senate Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting a spending ceiling set by the White House for a six-year highway and mass transit funding bill. The Senate voted 76-22 Wednesday to defeat an attempt to rule that the $295 billion bill added to the federal deficit and thus violated budget rules. The White House has warned that President Bush will be urged to veto any highway bill that exceeds the $284 billion amount he has agreed to. But 33 Republicans, citing the deteriorating state of the nation's roadways and the importance of the bill to generating jobs around the country, joined Democrats in supporting the $295 billion level.

Rain, snowfall cause flooding, slides in West

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Snow and rain fell across Wyoming and Utah Wednesday, unleashing rock slides and flooding at lower elevations while prompting a mountain resort to fire up its lifts for extra skiing. The potent spring storm dropped several inches of rain on northern Wyoming and nearly 2 feet of snow in the mountains, renewing hopes the state could emerge from a years-long drought that has devastated rangeland grasses.

Culkin denies molestation during Jackson trial

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin denounced the molestation allegations against Michael Jackson as "absolutely ridiculous" on Wednesday and testified that, contrary to prosecution claims, he was never victimized during his boyhood visits to the pop star's ranch. The 24-year-old Culkin confidently rejected suggestions that he might have been molested during his sleep without knowing about it and dismissed a prosecution display of sex magazines seized from Jackson's home, saying he used to keep Playboys under his own bed. When defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked Culkin if he was ever molested by Jackson, he replied, "Not at all."

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